POULSBO — The Kingston boys swim team is embarking on an ambitious and arduous schedule this month.
By the time January comes to an end, the Bucs will have participated in eight meets, including five duals, two invitationals and the Olympic League meet. It’s a large workload, even for the team’s many talented club swimmers who compete at a high level.
Kingston initially only had six meets on the schedule, but a last-minute invite to the Kentridge Invitational and a postponed league meet with Bremerton due to a December power outage, increased the slate to eight.
“We’ve got a lot of racing in a very short period of time,” head coach Mark VanHuis said.
But they’re off to a good start. After defeating Wilson 104-81 on Jan. 8, Kingston knocked off Port Angeles, 114-55 on Jan. 10 at the North Kitsap Community Pool, setting up a Jan. 17 home meet with Olympic, which could very well determine the league championship winner. Kingston and Olympic are the only two remaining undefeated teams in the league.
“We’ve got a week to prepare, but I think we’ll be ready to go and we’ll swim fast,” said Kingston senior Ethan Fox.
The Buccaneers will also get to swim alongside some of the state’s best teams in all classifications at the Kentridge Invitational on Jan. 12 at King County Aquatic Center and Jan. 19 at the Lindbergh High School Invitational. The team will race against defending 3A champion Bainbridge, last year’s 2A runner up, Liberty, and perennial state meet contenders such as Mercer Island, Sehome, Archbishop Murphy and Issaquah, giving some of the younger Bucs a chance to see the speed of the state’s top swimmers.
“It’ll be exciting, I’m not very nervous about it,” Fox said. “I’m more nervous about the Olympic meet.”
They will head into that meet with the Trojans with plenty of momentum. Against Port Angeles, a Kingston swimmer or relay team won all 11 events.
Ethan Fox (200-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke), Aron Markow (50 and 100 free) and Rocco Velie (200 IM, 100 butterfly) each won two individual events, while Tim Gallagher broke his own school record in the 500 free (4:40.89) and Sean Markow swam a West Central District meet-qualifying time (1:10.27) in the 100 breaststroke. The “A” relays consisted of various combinations of Gallagher, the Markow brothers, Fox, Velie, and Duncan Platz.
“Today was actually a lot sharper than our meet on Tuesday, they’re looking really good,” VanHuis said. “We had some really great breakout swims today. We picked up five or six more district qualifying swims, a couple state qualifying swims.”
Olympic has a number of top-flight swimmers in its own right. The Trojans finished just behind Kingston at last year’s memorable 2A state meet and all of they’re all back this season. It certainly won’t be a gimme for the defending Olympic League champs, but the motto for the team is a rather simple one.
“We’ve got to swim fast and we’ve got to keep a positive attitude,” Fox said.
Kingston 114, Port Angeles 55
200-yard medley relay — 1. Kingston “A” (Gallagher, A. Markow, Velie, S. Markow), 1:40.13; 3. Kingston “B” (Walgren, McCollum, Jacobsen, Sather), 2:02.41.
200-yard freestyle — 1. Ethan Fox, 1:47.81; 4. Charlie Near, 2:09.78; 5. Zawadi Leon, 2:21.25.
200-yard IM — 1. Rocco Velie, 2:03.40; 3. Duncan Platz, 2:16.92; 4. Sean Markow, 2:17.74.
50-yard freestyle — 1. Aron Markow, 22.09; 2. Evan Yamane, 24.94; 5. Tor Sather, 26.06.
100-yard butterfly — 1. Rocco Velie, 56.00; 4. Gunnar Jacobsen, 1:05.43; 6. Zawadi Leon, 1:08.49.
100-yard freestyle — 1. Aron Markow, 50.13; 3. Evan Yamane, 56.60; 4. Thomas Mixon, 58.41.
500-yard freestyle — 1. Tim Gallagher, 4:40.89; 3. Charlie Near, 6:08.13; 4. Tor Sather, 6:14.72.
200-yard freestyle relay — 1. Kingston “A” (A. Markow, Platz, Fox, Gallagher), 1:32.59; 3. Kingston “B” (S. Markow, Jacobsen, Mixon, Yamane), 1:44.46; 4. Kingston “C” (Leon, Lanning, Munger, Gregg), 1:52.51.
100-yard backstroke — 1. Ethan Fox, 56.58; 3. Duncan Platz, 1:04.73; 5. Gunnar Jacobsen, 1:14.20.
100-yard breaststroke — 1. Sean Markow, 1:10.27; 2. Ryuzo Kumei, 1:20.38; 3. Thomas Mixon, 1:22.15.
400-yard freestyle relay — 1. Kingston “A” (Velie, Platz, Fox, Gallagher), 3:27.90; 3. Kingston “B” (Sather, Yamane, Leon, Mixon), 4:02.90.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.